Loading
French teens aim to learn extreme poverty during Rome trip
By Estefania Aguirre
(L-R) Arthur Thomé, Marie de La Mardière, and Marie Lecointe in Rome on Aug. 20, 2013. Credit: Estefania Aguirre/CNA.
(L-R) Arthur Thomé, Marie de La Mardière, and Marie Lecointe in Rome on Aug. 20, 2013. Credit: Estefania Aguirre/CNA.

.- A group of French teenagers arrived in Rome this month without money or possessions in the hopes of learning how to let go of material things and grow closer to God.

“We've come here without money,” said 17-year-old Marie Lecointe. “It’s taught us to detach ourselves from things like beds, showers...”

Lecointe came to Rome on Aug. 19 alongside nine other youths aged 15 to 20. They left Paris on Aug. 3 with barely enough funds to reach Rome.

“We don’t know where we will sleep tonight but we will search around town,” Lecointe told CNA on Aug. 20.

The young woman said that the group, which belongs to France's Chapitre Saint Lazare or Saint Lazarus Chapter, prays a lot – which she says “has definitely helped them.”

The teens, who are now going from door to door asking for food or money, traveled on foot and sometimes, by bus. 

“We have to ask people for...whatever they can give us,” added 20-year-old Arthur Thomé.

The ten young people spent their first night in Rome in a building run by the Community of Saint Peter, but they now need to find other places to sleep at during the following nights.

Otherwise, said Thomé who is the oldest and responsible for the group, they will have to sleep on the streets.

He told CNA that although they go out in twos and threes during the day asking for food, he wants them to sleep in the same place each night for security reasons.

Lecointe noted that they are trying to learn a few phrases in Italian, since most people they have spoken to did not speak French or even English.

“But it’s quite difficult because we don’t have any time now or any books to learn from,” she said. “We can understand some words because it comes from Latin, like French.”

Thomé said that the aim is to gather enough money during the day to buy the cheapest food that can feed the ten. “People are giving us money or food so now I’m not afraid but yesterday I was because we had no money and very little food.”

The group cooks their meals on the street in a pot and portable gas cooker they brought with them.

“One day we were cooking pasta and an Italian man came and said 'that’s horrible! How can you eat that?'” Lecointe recalled, laughing.

“He then cooked it for us because it was really catastrophic,” she remarked. “It was about ten days ago at the beach and he also made the sauce for us.”

“It was very delicious, better than our own food,” Lecointe smiled.

Tags: Vatican, Catholic Youth, Spiritual Poverty


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
15

Liturgical Calendar

April 15, 2014

Tuesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Gospel
Date
04/14/14
04/13/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Peter Gonzalez »

Saint
Date
04/14/14
04/13/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Homily
Date
04/14/14
04/13/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: